Change of schedule for the CSA gathering & pickup

So, today was the first day I got to get out into the field after this cold snap that passed through this week. I am happy to report to y’all that it looks like everything made it through okay. But…ah..yes those buts…But, after getting down into the dirt and eye level with the crops I feel we need to push our CSA pickup and gathering up another week. The crops tend to be stunned after drastic weather changes and slow to kick back into growth. They are still on the small size so a few extra days will help them be ready…ready to harvest come May 3rd. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause we are on mother natures time….Just to sweeten those that are a little disappointed here is our menu for lunch for the day.

Menu

Pasta with fresh spinach, arugula and tomatoes  w/cilantro dressing 

Our fabulous farmhouse pimento cheese  

Lavender/strawberry pound cake  (low fat) yea, right:)

Tea, Water

 

 

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Let’s kick this CSA Season Off! YAY:)

 

As I am writing this newsletter the rain is starting to fall on the farmhouse’s metal roof…God I love that sound. But behind this beautiful life giving rain is a cold front…that I am not happy about. I guess I will have to update this newsletter if things get weird out there in the field…But so far…we are all in the green! The spring crops are looking great and coming on well. Lettuce and sugar snap peas are nice and loving this rain right now I am sure.  All in all it’s been a fairly standard planting season no big curve balls thrown and the whole field is greening up and looking like spring.  I even noticed the asparagus starting to poke their heads up out of the soil.

Yep, truly my favorite time of year:)

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So, I would imagine our CSA shareholders are ready to get out on the farm and take home some of these spring crops….We would love to see y’all do just that. So again unless something changes weather wise….shhhh…don’t even use the F word…we are going to set the date for our CSA gathering and 1st. pickup.

    Spring / Summer CSA Gathering 2014

Saturday April 26th.  

11am. 

Food, beverages and an all-around good time…that is totally legal:)

 Now for all of our brand new shareholders…let me tell you what to expect from this gathering and why it is so important that you mark your calendars for this date.  First this is your 1st. pickup of the season…(excited)  2nd. This is the time we really get to talk with our CSA shareholders about the ins & outs of the program. You will learn so many tips and ways in which to get the most out of your CSA experience. 3rd…We feed you…yes, we do a farm lunch and for my farm crew and I it is an excuse for us to throw a bit of a party…and we like to do that.  Bring the whole family and spend a couple of hours with us here on the farm… your farm…you will find that through the next few months you will be so happy you made the time…because you will know stuff…secret stuff ..kidding…not really:)

We had a wonderful Shitake Mushroom workshop this weekend on the farm…our attendees learned how to inoculate their very own mushroom logs…as well as getting to take the one they made home with them. A super food shitake’s are a warrior in the clean eating world. Such a great way to learn something new…spreading the love of growing good, healthy food. LOVE!

Getting ready for workshop, Logs, drill and spawns

Getting ready for workshop, Logs, drill and spawns

 

We had a nice group of folks that didn’t mind getting in there and learning a new skill. Not to mention working that power tool! Yes…

Mushroom workshop

Mushroom workshop

 

Inoculation of the logs logs

Inoculation of the logs 

 

This fall they should be doing this….

Peggy Harvesting Shitake mushroom from the farm's organic logs.

Peggy Harvesting Shitake mushroom from the farm’s organic logs.

 

 

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It’s spring and that means all hands in the dirt!

Yay…It’s spring my favorite time of the year. I can’t tell you how I long to play in the dirt all winter long. Now that we have our 2014 spring and summer CSA shareholders all line up and our program filled we started our planting season. How exciting:)  This last week we planted our kale, spinach and spring onions along with sweet lettuce mix, broccoli and sugar snap peas. This week we should have a few more crops in the ground once we get through this cold snap. We are still shooting for that late April CSA gathering and 1st. pickup but we will know more as the weeks come along. We also had this season’s first farm workshop with  our organic gardening workshop. It was wonderful and there were several hands in the dirt that day.  This is a workshop I truly love for sharing the love of growing organically is a passion of mine. bet you couldn’t tell that…yep. :0)

Mark talking about compost with our workshop group.

Mark talking about compost with our workshop group.

Next up on our farm schedule is our Shitake Mushroom workshop…ooh this is going to fun! Growing mushrooms is pretty easy once you inoculate your logs and these logs will produce for 6-8 years and sometimes more. We will be going through the process start to finish and our workshop attendees will be taking home their very own shitake logs to love and care for…and better yet…to feed upon…yes! Here is the link for those that are interested in this workshop Shitake Mushroom Workshop  The cost is $35.00 per person…but so worth every dang dime:)   The date for the workshop is Sunday April 13th.  1:30 pm.   here at the farm.

Peggy Harvesting Shitake mushroom from the farm's organic logs.

Peggy Harvesting Shitake mushroom from the farm’s organic logs.

 

Well that is pretty much the happenings here at the farm lately, We are busy…busy getting ready for great spring.

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Seed Starting & planning for the spring

Yay, it is weeks past Christmas which means for me time to think about the farm for next spring. Although I love my month off from all things farm…I have to say Christmas is far more stressful on me then July in the field. My husband says I have a negative Christmas attitude I say bah hum bug:)

CSAphotoframe14We have started signing up for the spring/summer CSA so if you haven’t already signed up …you better hurry y’all know those shares go quick. You can signup though our website just click the CSA link.  I have been busy starting those spring vegetables the last couple of weeks. There are seed trays under lights everywhere in the farm house…makes me feel right at home. Soon I can move them to our new little hoop house to harden off before heading to the field.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and can’t wait to see you again this spring.

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Merry Christmas from the farm!

merry bright christmas printable

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas…Mark, Lucca and I are enjoying our time together before the busy season of planting and getting the farm ready for our spring season. We miss our farm visitors though and are looking forward to a wonderful growing upcoming growing season.

Peggy & Mark Marchetti

Madison Creek Farms

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Moving right along with summer

IMG_1433Now that we are in the full swing of the summer month and the crops are coming and going out of the field it can be crazy busy around the farm. We are now clearing out the last of the early summer crops planting our fall crops and tending to the late summer crops still coming in. The deer and rabbits have found their way back to the farm and I have once again enlist Mark and Lucca’s help in trying to keep them off the tomatoes and beans…Now y’all are going to think I am crazy when I tell you how I do it…but it works..well for the most part.

Deer and rabbits are a problem for me every time this time of year. They come down into the field in the evening and around dawn in search of food….which they find in plenty out there. Both these animals don’t care for the company of humans especially the hunting kind…they can smell a man 300 yards away. Like most predators men and woman too…but I have found this trick works better with male…scent…they care a hormone that gives off a musky meat eater scent that these animal can pickup and know they very well could be on the menu so they tend to avoid the area they smell man…In the morning I have Lucca and Mark urinate on some old socks in a bucket….morning urine is the strongest so it works the best…I let it set all day then with think rubber glove mind you take those socks and stake them on sticks throughout the field. I repeat this every week to keep the scent fresh and strong. I have notice the deer are really working on my tomatoes eating the tops of the plants right off…that won’t do…so tomorrow there will be socks on sticks in that field…so don’t touch them….ha ha..

 

This morning we are in farm clean up mode. Taking out the old crops to replace new crops that are for the fall. Leaving crops that are spent in the field is an invitation to pest problems. Harlequin bugs and squash bugs being the main ones that concern me. Harlequin bugs love the kale, mustards and any plant in that family. The squash bugs are a real problem for they will destroy your old and new squash plants. Once they take hold it is almost impossible to rid you farm of them. It is all part of mid-summer growing though and you have to keep on top of these problems.

Beans and peppers are keeping us on our toes right now. Harvesting a couple times a week. This week we dug our crop of fresh potatoes for the CSA and Market. You really never had a potato that taste as good as the ones that are just harvested. Butter….they are like butter…wonderful. Now I won’t be here on the farm this weekend I am leaving it in Mark’s hand and Viki backing him up. We have sweet corn from our friends in Ky. farm and I know how exciting corn is to see in the market…Lucca and Mark already grab their ears before I even blinked…

We have put the tickets for our Dinner In The Flower Field on sale last week…You will love this event…think great dinner prepared by Chef Jack Williams…Local Wine tasting and live music all in the beauty of our fall flower field…You can get your ticket at the farm or email me and I will get back with you.

 

dinnerflyer

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The first taste of summer

This week we have seen the temperatures rise and the humidity kicking in here in the south. You would think we would all be used to that weather pattern that seems to hit us very summer beginning at some point June. I personally never am…I try and only play in dirt early in the mornings and late in the afternoon. After around 10am. I start dragging myself to the shower and a cold one at that.1013071_10201132106043141_1724897952_n

The farm has exploded with growth from a couple of weeks of good rain and heat…that combination is what a great summer season on the farm relies on. The field looks like a jungle and is kickin’ with big colors from the flowers. Just how it should be.

The is the point at which the season start to change and we enter into that transition of warm weather crops. Squash, zucchini and snap beans all start to ripen and show up in the market and in our CSA baskets. A lovely reprieve from all the greens of spring. These crops are followed closely by the first harvest of tomatoes….oh yes, that is what I am waiting for.  Bright yellow crookneck summer squash are ready for harvest this week and it’s one of my favorites. Now don’t get this squash mixed up with the smooth skinned kind you find in your grocery store. They are cousins but not the same. Crookneck yellow squash have bumping skin tougher skin and like their name implies they have a crook neck. They can also be larger than the mass produced squash that are in the store. They taste so much better…they taste like squas

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This week we are harvesting snap beans as well. I love these stringless sweet beans. You will notice there are some color in these beans that look different. We grow green, purple and yellow snap beans. Y’all know I like to shake that plate up…these are sweet and fresh so delish.

Lots of blooming flowers out there in the field. Mark favorite Snap Dragons are blooming along with sunflowers and zinnia and some gorgeous cherry dianthus…so bring your creativity and take home some food for the eyes and time for the soul here on the farm this Saturday. IMG_1255 1

CSA Pickup- Saturday

Squash

Zucchini

Green snap beans

Sesame Greens (mild like spinach) steam or sauté

Cucumbers

swiss chard

kale ( last harvest will be giving our shareholders bags for them to harvest their freeze shares)

Flowers & Herbs for cutting

Market

Chocolate Chess Pies

Buttermilk Lemon Chess pies

First batch of our Dill pickles of  the season

Last batch of our Strawberry Lavender Jam of the season

Apple Carrot bread

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Summertime!

Okay, So I will admit I am a spring season person…I love everything about spring time. It all feels new and fresh and wonderful. The heat starts kicking in and that summer sun takes over my days…making my job as a farm a lot less enjoyable. But that is all part of it and friends the summer heat is steadily rising out there where the wild thangs grow. This weekend we will be seeing the last of the lettuces and the salad greens in our CSA baskets and at the market. June is a transitional month for crops with the cool season produce ending and the warm season crops coming on. This week we will be harvesting swiss chard and sugar snap peas.  These are one of my favorite crops to grow mostly because I get to snack on them while I and working out in the field.

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Sugar snap peas are wonderful to eat raw. You can toss them into salads pod and all. You don’t need to shell these type of peas and they are really good lightly steamed as well. The kids like them for their sweet taste and yes they are healthy too:)

Another fresh harvest this week at the market and in our CSA is Swiss Chard. I tend to think of this wonderful large leaf green as the spinach of warm weather. It is in the beet family and very mild in taste. Just a quick sauté and it’s ready. By all mean chop up the stem as well it has great texture and taste great too.

The flowers are beginning to bud out and some are blooming but we are still a week or so away from any real showing in the flower department but once they do start it is an amazing sight for the next few months.

We are a couple of weeks away from our blackberries being ready and I will tell you I can’t wait. It looks like a bumper crop this year on the blackberry patch. There are buds all over the plants. This week we are sowing more tomatoes and squash and beans and still even more flowers. Although the days are getting hotter the work doesn’t stop…but that must be why God made good cold creeks to cool off in:)

 

 

  CSA News & Update

This Saturday is a pickup date please remember to bring your baskets back to the farm we are running short.

For those that would like to cut an extra bag of lettuce and kale for your baskets you are welcome to. Just asked Jane for an extra bag and head on out to the field and help your self.

 

 

 

Market  9am. 

The last of the Strawberry/Rhubarb pies…freshly baked and delicious!

Brown butter & Banana muffins

Strawberry lemonade muffins

Lavender Short bread cookies…OMG these are to die for! Made with our lavender and our own freshly churned sweet cream butter!

 

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CSA Shareholders: we need you back on the farm

We the warm temps reaching for the sky so will be these cool season crops…as in bolting. Y’all can’t say I didn’t warn you about a back to back pickup…This is the week we need our shareholders back on the farm. Just to entice you though our strawberries are at their peak of perfection…and they are yours to take home. Here is the pickup schedule for this week. Please post on our facebook page if you would like the mid-week pickup time.  Thanks, Peggy

 

Thursday 4-6 pm

Saturday 9-12

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Things are heating up around here:)

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I knew it! I just knew we would dive head first into summer with little to no spring…Well I guess that goes along with the rest of this freaky early season. The farm over the past week as been on quite the growing spurt. When I left last week to go on a four day tour we were still pretty small in growth of the crops…I came how to a different farm. The rain and warm weather has more than just the bermuda grass growing. Our CSA shareholders and farm visitors heads up there are tons of our english roses blooming and waiting to go home with you…mind you they are thorny so you might want to bring gloves this Saturday.

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   You will be amazed at how wonderful these roses smell. Truly one of my all-time favorite flowers. A couple of other crops are coming in and a couple going out this week. One of these crops that is ready to harvest is the broccoli   and yes it is super yummy. This is the first cut meaning we are taking the main head from the center..but the wonderful part about this crop is that the side shoots will keep producing for a couple more weeks or so. Another crop that is coming in right now is Kohlrabi. I am not sure if I will have enough yet to fill all the CSA shares but..don’t fret you all will get them in the weeks to come. They are delicious!

 YAY! The strawberries are beginning to ripen up and we just might some in time for the CSA and market this week…no big promise but I am sure keep my fingers crossed.

 We are going to open the farm market this Saturday 9am. to the public. Excited!

CSA Shareholders, you have your 2nd pickup this Saturday. Let get all this farming rockin’ .

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